You know what it’s like. You dare to show up to a hotel a little bit earlier than the official check in time, only to be told that your room “is not quite ready”. It’s not always their fault – probably some lazy sod left the Do Not Disturb sign on his door even though he left at 7am. Or maybe a 1960s rock group have trashed the joint, smashing up the world’s tiniest bar of soap and inhaling a sachet of powdered milk.
I’ve stayed in hotels all over the world, and I’ve heard every polite response under the sun as to why I can’t check in right now. But how about this? “Your room is ready, sir. But you can’t check in until 3pm. It’s our policy.”
Ok, then. Could you be a bit more flexible on your “policy”?
“Yes we can. Pay us £10 and you can check in now. That’s our policy.”
Now an extra tenner on a room that’s already cost £150 might not seem like much. If it were Raffles in Singapore. Not the Travelodge at King’s Cross in London.
An email to Travelodge’s feedback email produced a response that simply quoted the rules back to me. No explanation, no admission that they could have done better.
It’s not all that hard to find the CEO’s name and email address.
Hours later, a call from Travelodge HQ. They were wrong, they could have done more, and this has been fed back to the hotel itself and the Customer Services people. And would I like a voucher for a free stay?
Yeah, probably. And can I check in early please?